STABILO's EASY range of pens, pencils and sharpeners - it's easy to see how easy they are to use. They're easy to refill, easy to hold and easy on the pocket too. Too many 'easys'? Yes, probably, but they really are, well, easy!
STABILO's aptly-named range has long been a favourite of parents and teachers - and hopefully children too - because they really do help young fingers adapt to the important skill of learning how to write. Along with adding and subtracting (and possibly being able to use two thumbs to text), you need to be able to write. And being able to do it legibly has an added advantage, because others will be able to understand what you've written. And that's very important. Unless you're a doctor, of course.
But while human hands - particularly the long bendy parts of them that we call fingers - are extremely dextrous and incredibly adaptable, they're not specifically designed to hold a pen or pencil, because they have to do other things as well like play musical instruments and chop vegetables and operate touch screens, along with a thousand other things. So STABILO - unable to change the design of the typical finger - decided to change the design of the typical writing instrument. Which was probably the easier route to take (and less messy).
Finger pads are squashy things and good at gripping, up to a point, but they're still liable to slide down the barrel of a pencil, especially if you're concentrating rather hard, or the weather is hot. So STABILO took a thick-barrelled pencil - which requires less energy to grip than a thin one - and created little indentations in it, into which finger pads fit rather nicely. EASYgraph. These indentations are angled in such a way as to encourage a relaxed grip - one less thing to think about when you're trying to make sense of how individual letters go together to make up a word. And as we all know, about 10% of the population is left-handed, so there are two versions of this ingenious pencil with appropriately-angled indentations, along with both left- and right-handed pencil sharpeners. STABILO didn't stop at a graphite pencil either - there are EASYergo mechanical pencils too! The leads - available in 1.4mm and 3.15mm - are sturdy enough to withstand a bit of pressure and the mechanism is also cushioned, which makes for a comfortable ride. What's more, while the 1.4mm version is self-sharpening, there's a lead pointer available for the 3.15mm version, so you can keep the tip in top condition. There are two versions, of course, depending on whether you're left- or right-handed, and the barrels have special grip areas in a triangular shape - a very sensible profile when you consider that it's usually the thumb, index- and middle fingers that are used to grip a pencil.
Pencils are great, but sooner or later - if you're a child - you'll need to progress to a pen. And most of us like to write with a pen anyway. STABILO's EASYoriginal is a rollerball with - admittedly - a bit of a strange shape, but there's method in STABILO's madness. It features the appropriately-angled indentations in the grip area, like the EASYergo pencils, and then bulges out, just at the point where your thumb meets your index finger (you know - the thin bit of skin that was probably webbed in a former evolutionary stage), so the pen fits nicely into the gap. It then narrows again, and bends, so that it lies nicely over the back of your hand. Slightly difficult to describe, but you'll see what I mean if you look here. They come fitted with an ink refill in erasable royal blue, but you can also choose from red and black ink cartridges as well.
Now - fountain pens. Long steered away from by left-handers, because of the very real risk of smudging, and difficulties with angling the nib for legible writing, they're not generally the first choice for that exalted 10% of the population. But STABILO have made it EASY, by introducing the EASYbuddy. Rather than offering two types of grip, they've created different nibs instead, which should eliminate the compulsion by many left-handers to contort their bodies into awkward shapes, just to avoid brushing an arm or hand across still-wet writing. You want to be at ease when you write, after all. Especially if it's a 2000 word essay…
The EASY range isn't just for kids, though. They really are a bit of a godsend for people with grip problems or hand disabilities. Perfect - as long as you don't mind a splash of primary colour!
4 September 2018